Took risk when I gave Narayana Rs 10,000 to start Infosys: Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty's Risk: How Rs 10,000 Started Infosys
Sudha Murthy
Sudha Murthy

New Delhi | Recently sworn-in Rajya Sabha MP Sudha Murty on Friday recalled how she gave her husband NR Narayana Murthy Rs 10,000 as seed capital to start IT company Infosys but chose to keep Rs 250 from her savings kitty as she thought she was taking a "risk" because of his previously failed venture.

The 73-year old engineer-turned-philanthropist recounted that in 1981 when her husband told her that he wanted to start a software company, she had argued that both already had well-paying jobs.

Murthy had assured her that he would not proceed without her approval, she said speaking at India Today conclave.

“I had Rs 10,250 in my savings. I saved Rs 250 for myself and gave him the rest because he failed in his earlier venture Softronics, so I took a risk,” she said.

Murthy told her to brace for a bumpy ride for the next three years, she said recounting the early days of the Indian IT services giant.

“My life drastically changed when he started Infosys, it was a responsibility, a commitment,” she said. Building a company is no joke, Murty added saying that it requires a lot of sacrifices.

Murty has been recently sworn in as a Rajya Sabha MP, to which she said, “At the age of 73, this is a new chapter. But age is no bar for learning”.

Narayana Murthy, who was present during her oath-taking ceremony, said at the conclave: “Right from day one, it was very clear that she was superior to me...I did not doubt in my mind about her being truly the ‘better half'.” When asked why Murthy did not include his wife as part of Infosys in its initial days, he took a dig to say that life is all about learning and improving.

“I was an incorrigible idealist those days,” he said adding that family-run organisations were standard in those times.

Having returned from France, Murthy said, he wanted to do something different in India.

“One way of doing it was not to make it a husband-wife company, even though she was much more qualified than all the founders. It was an act of idealism,” Murthy said.

"We have always operated Infosys as an enlightened democracy, Murthy said, adding, “We were the first Indian company to be listed in Nasdaq (stock market index), and that was a proud moment”.

To this, Murty said she does not regret not being involved in Infosys.

"I have touched many lives in real life through the Infosys foundation, and I value it more than any other position."

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